PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Bureau has found itself in the national spotlight over the past week with incidents including the indictment of an officer, a Department of Justice investigation into a detective as well as the mass resignation of the 50-member Rapid Response Team assigned to respond to police riots.
KOIN 6 recently spoke with Elijah Warren, the man who was hit by a PPB officer’s baton in September during a riot. Earlier this year he filed a $400,00 lawsuit against the City of Portland and Detective Erik Kammerer with the aim of improving police accountability.
Warren said his Southeast Portland home was filled with tear gas on Sept. 5, 2020, after police declared a riot on the 100th consecutive night of protests in the city. The declaration was made after someone threw what authorities described as firebombs toward police. More than 50 people were arrested that night.
Greg Kafoury, Warren’s attorney, said the investigation into the detective is not a direct result of their lawsuit. PPB officials have not clarified Kammerer’s involvement in the incident, but Warren said Kammerer was the one who assaulted him. Moreover, Warren expressed optimism.
“I think it’s a step forward,” he told KOIN 6 News Wednesday. “Usually we don’t get anything happening. We just get a couple news clips and it’s swept under the rug. So, hopefully this is a sign of change we’ve been pushing for.”
Last Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Justice announced it would review Kammerer’s use of force at protests. The request for ODOJ’s involvement was made by District Attorney Mike Schmidt due to a potential conflict of interest in the office according to authorities.